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Beautiful hand-colored portraits of Native Americans 1898-1900

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Brushing Against, Little Squint Eyes, San Carlos Apaches, 1898.
 
In 1898, Frank Rinehart was commissioned to photograph Native Americans attending the Trans-Mississippi Exposition and Indian Congress in Omaha, Nebraska. Together with his assistant, Adolph Muhr, Rinehart produced a series of portraits that has been described as “one of the best photographic documentations of Indian leaders at the turn of the century.” Many of these graceful and dignified portraits were taken by Muhr, of whom former photographic curator at the University of Kansas’ Spencer Art Museum, Tom Southall said:

The dramatic beauty of these portraits is especially impressive as a departure from earlier, less sensitive photographs of Native Americans. Instead of being detached, ethnographic records, the Rinehart photographs are portraits of individuals with an emphasis on strength of expression. While Muhr was not the first photographer to portray Indian subjects with such dignity, this large body of work which was widely seen and distributed may have had an important influence in changing subsequent portrayals of Native Americans.

Frank Rinehart started his career as a photographer with his brother Alfred in Denver, Colorado in the 1870s. Together they formed a partnership with explorer and photographer William Henry Jackson—famed for his photos of life in the American West and for creating the image of “Uncle Sam.” It was under Jackson’s tutelage that Rinehart developed his craft.

Today the Frank A. Rinehart Photograph Collection consists of 809 glass plate negatives that depict many of the Native Americans who attended the Trans-Mississippi Exposition and Indian Congress, as well as those whom Rinehart photographed at his studio in Omaha between 1899-1900.

More from the Rinehart Collection can be viewed here.
 
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Calls Her Name, Sioux, circa 1989-1900.
 
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Ahahe & Child, Wichita, 1898.
 
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Black Horse, Arapahoe, 1900.
 
Many more after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Portraits of inmates from a ‘Lunatic Asylum,’ 1869

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In 1796, Quaker businessman and philanthropist William Tuke opened the Retreat in York, England, for the care of the mentally ill. Prior to this, those with mental health or behavioral issues were treated worse than the most heinous criminal—they were usually locked-up in bedlams, imprisoned in cells or chained to walls in workhouses. As a Quaker Tuke believed in the sanctity of life and of behaving kindly and morally to all humanity. This led him to build a hospital for the care of those suffering from mental health problems. At first, the Retreat was only open to fellow Quakers, but it soon opened its doors to all.

The Retreat changed the way mental health was treated in England, and in 1818 the first of four hospitals, the Stanley Royd Hospital in Wakefield, was built under the aegis of the West Riding General Asylums Committee. A further three hospitals were built between 1872 and 1904—the South Yorkshire Asylum built in Sheffield, the High Royds Hospital in Menston and the Storthes Hall built in Kirkburton—which became villages for patients and all four hospital together formed the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

Inspired by the Retreat, the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum pioneered the care and treatment of the mentally ill during the Victorian and Edwardian era. Gone were days of brutality and fear. Patients were cared for as best as was then able and according to the available medical advice. It may seem strange and harsh to us today—especially the use of confinement cells to hold some violent, paranoid and delusional patients—but in relative terms, our treatment of the mentally ill will no doubt be seen as harsh by future generations.

These hospitals were open to all who needed treatment, and by the late 1800s, the demand for support from the impoverished and mentally ill outstripped the number of places available, leading to more hospitals built. By the turn of the 1900s, with the rise of psychiatry and the “tendency to herding and regimentation” asylums “lost much of their early high ideal of individual concern and care.” Standards basically fell, as the patients greatly outnumbered staff, leading to inadequate care, which didn’t change until later in the 20th century and the beginning of the National Health Service.

This selection of portraits show patients of varying ages from the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum in 1869. Some of the pictures detail the patient’s illness—“organic dementia,” “general paralysis of the insane,” “imbecility,” “simple mania,” “consecutive dementia,” “mono-mania of pride,” “mania of suspicion,” “chronic mania,” “mono-mania of pride,” “acute melancholia” and “senile dementia”—but each photograph tells its own sad tale.
 
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More inmate portraits, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Renaissance portrait or rapper?
03.17.2015
07:00 am

Topics:
Animals
Art
Hip-hop
History
Music

Tags:
Renaissance
Rappers


 
NYC advertising creative director Cecilia Azcarate has an apparent fondness for the art of the Renaissance and a gift for connecting it to the present-day. Her Tumblr Ikea B4-XIV cleverly identifies centuries-old analogues to Swedish housewares in Renaissance paintings, and she curates a Twitter feed that’s heavy with the art of that era as well. But she’s hit on a rich vein of astonishing material with her Tumblr B4-XVI, wherein she highlights “an invisible conversation between hip hop and art before the 16th century.” The connections Azcarate identifies between painted portraits from the Renaissance and photographic portraits of 21st Century rappers are, at times, frankly amazing.
 

“The Adoration of the Magi” by Hugo van der Goes VS Wiz Khalifa
 

“Portrait of Henry the Pious, Duke of Saxony” by Lucas Cranach VS Takeoff of Migos
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
New York City squatters from the 1990s
03.17.2015
06:53 am

Topics:
Class War
History

Tags:
New York City
photography
squatters


“Beer Olympics 1”
 
It’s strange to think of the 1990s as a bygone era, but artist and photographer Ash Thayer’s new book Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000 shows a New York that simply no longer exists. Thayer began living in a Lower East Side squat in 1992 after being kicked out of her Brooklyn apartment. As a young art student, she recorded the (mostly young and white) inhabitants of these crumbling buildings with a keen photographer’s eye and an unflinching focus on the decidedly unglamorous wreckage.

There is an optimism to the collection though; so many squatters looked at absolutely unlivable conditions and saw renovation potential—the picture of the pregnant women installing windows is particularly striking. Living in these buildings wasn’t even legal—they rarely had water or electricity, and were often infested with rats or roaches—so Thayer’s record of the LES squatters of the 90s is particularly precious, considering how covert many of these squatters had to be to evade eviction.
 

“Famous Pregnant and Building Windows”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Amazing photographs of Harlem during the summer of 1970
03.16.2015
08:38 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
History

Tags:
Harlem
Jack Garofalo


 
Captivating photographs of Harlem in July of 1970 taken by French photographer Jack Garofalo for the October issue of Paris Match magazine. Garofalo was sent on assignment to document the changes happening to the neighborhood after the 1960s.

Here are a few statistics about Harlem in the 1960s per Wikipedia:

...about 75% of Harlem students tested under grade levels in reading skills, and 80% tested under grade level in math.In 1964, residents of Harlem staged two school boycotts to call attention to the problem. In central Harlem, 92% of students stayed home. In the post-World War II era, Harlem ceased to be home to a majority of the city’s blacks,but it remained the cultural and political capital of black New York, and possibly black America

As the 1960s ended, many Harlemites were able to escape the crumbling, crime ridden neighborhood in search of better school systems, safer streets and more livable homes.

Jack Garofalo‘s photographs documented the people who stayed. A snapshot in time we’ll never see again.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Off with their heads: Gruesomely comic headless portraits from the 19th century
03.11.2015
06:29 am

Topics:
Amusing
History

Tags:
photography
Victoriana

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Tales of headless ghosts or headless horsemen that haunted the night—most famously described in Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”—and the horrors of the guillotine were a source of inspiration for these gruesomely comic portraits from the 1800s to early 1900s. These portraits show a flipside to the orthodox notions of Victorians as no nonsense, straight-backed, straight-laced individuals, who would no more crack a smile than waste a nickel.

It also shows how keenly many Victorians (or at least those who were rich enough to have their portraits taken) were to embrace the advances in (novelty) photography—a practice that is still continued today by “paranormal street photographer” Krocky Meshkin and Edward Allan of the site Haunted Memories, who famously produced the “Buckley Family Portrait,” which proves we moderns can be just as gullible when it comes to headless hoaxes.
 
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More headless portraits, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Young, Black and Victorian: Wonderful photographs of Victorian women of color
03.09.2015
11:29 am

Topics:
History
Race

Tags:
Victorian


 
Here are some photographs of Victorian women of color that date from 1860 to 1901. Unfortunately, a lot of these photographs have no names attached to the women posed in the photographs.

I’d love to know the stories behind each photo. What each woman’s life was like. Sadly, we’ll probably never know.

According to the website Downtown LA Life:

Photos of Women of Color from this era are hard to come by, especially “family” photographs.
~
A couple of these photos were taken when there was still slavery in the United States.


 

 

Aida Overton Walker
 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
I got thisclose to David Bowie’s coke spoon, but I didn’t get to use it
03.04.2015
12:44 pm

Topics:
Art
History
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
David Bowie


 
Shade Rupe’s post mortem on the “David Bowie Is” exhibit in Chicago:

A cause célèbre for art, film and design institutions everywhere, with breaking attendance records, the Victoria & Albert—curated “Davie Bowie Is” exhibition is a marvel of closeness that zillions of fans through the decades never believed they’d be able to experience. In 1983 when D.A. Pennebaker’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was finally released we could squint through the reddish grain while our alien lord pranced and rocked the stage through multiple costume changes, mime, sucking off Mick Ronson’s… guitar, and admonishing his wife Angie’s makeup suggestions with “What do you know about makeup? You’re just a girl.” But this is different.

Debuting in Paris this month at the Philharmonie de Paris/ Cité de la Musique before then continuing to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands later in the year, the collection of costumes, outfits, memorabilia, and detritus, is vast as this is only a sampling of what the curators chose after Bowie opened his closets. Bowie’s self-application of color and cream is apparent with even a tissue that once blotted his lipstick is carefully displayed.
 

 
For Brits the ‘big moment’ was the “Starman” reveal on Top of the Pops, a moment given further clarity with a crew member shot backup film. While many English teenagers first got gobsmacked by that moment, even younger Americans were similarly blown away after over a decade of Bowie’s starring bursts when he premiered his devastatingly electric art moments during his December 15, 1979, Saturday Night Live performances with Joey Arias and Klaus Nomi on backup for scorching renditions of “The Man Who Sold the World” (in a Hugo Ball—inspired hourglass-shaped tuxedo), “TVC15” (in a school marm’s green dress with Arias and Nomi fending off a pink poodle with a TV in its mouth), and “Boys Keep Swinging,” with a Silly Putty—bodied Bowie unfurling a plastic penis, twice (though only shown on the first broadcast). Both programs make up significant parts of the exhibit.

Scary Monsters unleashed the final throes of Bowie’s magnificent more-than-a-decade of blowing Earth’s minds before settling down with that album that can’t be named (and thankfully is left out of the exhibition entirely). The next decade is skipped until we encounter Floria Sigismondi’s music videos (she’s created four for the Master in total) for “Little Wonder” and “Dead Man Walking.”

Other highlights of the exhibit, beyond getting to get ::this close:: to the Starman’s magic clothing include a gift of a test pressing of the first Velvet Underground album, bequeathed to Bowie’s manager Kenneth Pitt by Andy Warhol then to Bowie who exclaimed “By the time ‘European Son’ was done I was so excited I couldn’t move,” the keys to the underground bunker Bowie shared with Iggy Pop in Berlin which resulted in this writer’s own desert island disc The Idiot, and the Thin White Duke’s trusty cocaine spoon giving the man who fell to earth’s Diamond Dogs tour that extra bit of futuristic oomph.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Brutal, intimate photos depict the 1980s ‘heroin epidemic’ of the East Village
03.03.2015
03:21 pm

Topics:
Art
Drugs
History

Tags:
New York
photography
heroin


Boy on East 5th Street (4th of July), 1984
 
Anyone who’s hung out on Rivington Street the last few years might be surprised to learn that the East Village was one of the scariest parts of New York just a few decades ago. Not for nothing did one police officer in the 1980s label Avenue D “the world’s largest retail drug market.”

Photographer Ken Schles, who lived in the East Village in the 1980s, once said that it was “like a war zone.” Schles witnessed firsthand the heroin epidemic and the AIDS crisis happening all around him. His photographs, many taken from his bedroom window, depict the urgency and hopelessness of a neighborhood in crisis. 

Schles’ building, where he also had his darkroom, was in disrepair from the moment he moved in in 1978; just a few years later, the landlord abandoned the building, leaving tenants to their own devices. Schles led a rent strike and worked to improve the living conditions, as drug gangs moved in on the space.

Unlike the romanticized imagery produced by some, Schles’ frank pictures offer no illusion as to what is being depicted. Schles himslf is disgusted by such idealized portraits and offers a refreshingly honest and pragmatic take on the era—as he says, “I don’t pine for the days when I’d drive down the Bowery and have to lock the doors, or having to step over the junkies or finding the door bashed in because heroin dealers decided they wanted to set up a shooting gallery. ... A lot of dysfunction has been romanticized.”

Schles’ shots, many taken from his bedroom window, provide blurred and grainy fragments, stories to which we do not know the beginning, even if we can guess at the grim ending. Eventually Schles’ fellow artists and gallery owners banded together to rebuild the neighborhood.

In 1988 Schles published Invisible City, which has recently been reissued, and late last year he came out with a follow-up, Night Walk. Together they add up to an intimate study of a neighborhood that is no longer recognizable.

Invisible City and Night Walk are on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery on 57th Street until March 14, 2015.
 

Couple Fucking, 1985
 

Embrace, 1984
 

Landscape with Garbage Bag, 1984
 

Drowned in Sorrow, 1984
 

Scene at a Stag Party, May 1985
 

Claudia Lights Cigarette, 1985
 
More after the jump…..
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
When sex was a crime: List of penalties for sodomy, fornication, adultery & cohabitation in the USA
03.03.2015
07:17 am

Topics:
Crime
History
Sex

Tags:
penalties for sex offenses

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According to this list of “Penalties for Sex Offenses in the United States” published in 1964 by Harry Hay’s pioneering “homophile” rights group, the Mattachine Society, most of us could have been at best fined or at worst arrested and sent away to prison for a very long time had we simply been doing what we take for granted today.

Take Connecticut for example, where sodomy (or “the crime against nature” as it is described here) brought a sentence of 30 years; or in Kentucky, where you could be given a two-five year sentence; or Maine one-ten years; and 20 years in either Massachusetts or Minnesota. The term “sodomy” included:

...a wide variety of “unnatural” sexual activity, with animals or with another person of either sex, both within and outside marriage.

That’s a fairly broad definition, don’t you think?

Fornication in most states brought a fine of between $20-$500 plus three months to six years jail time, or worse in Alaska where you could be fined $300 or given two years in prison. This might explain why so many Americans marry rather than live together—as opposed to Europe. According to US figures 8.1 million unmarried Americans were cohabiting in 2011, compared to 5.9 million (or 11.7%) of the UK population who cohabited in 2102.

If two years jail time didn’t make you twice about sex before marriage, then being caught committing adultery could cost you a minimum of $10 (Rhode Island) up to $500-$1000 and/or six months to one year (Nevada) or five years (Connecticut) or five years/$1000 fine (Maine).

Add to this, your time in jail and/or fine could be doubled for a second conviction—though penalties for women were less being: “$10 to $30 or 1-3 yrs.”

Thankfully, times have changed, but incredibly sodomy laws were not lifted nationally until this millennium, in 2003.
 
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H/T Flashbak

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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